When the “Power to Green Hydrogen Mallorca Project” was inaugurated in March 2022, it was the first green hydrogen plant in Southern Europe, with €10m ($11m) of EU funding that was meant to ensure its lynchpin role in what was heralded as a “pioneering” island-wide project that would “serve as a model for similar hydrogen valleys all over Europe”.
But the truth is that the 2.5MW electrolyser in Lloseta, on the Spanish island of Mallorca, has been out of action ever since, never producing the 300 tonnes a year of solar-powered H2 that was meant to supply a wide array of end uses, including fuel-cell buses, heat and power for buildings, and blending into the gas grid as part of the “Green Hysland” project.
Co-developers Acciona Energía and Enagás tell Hydrogen Insight that production has been paused as the electrolyser, supplied by Hydrogenics which is now fully owned by US conglomerate Cummins, has been recalled by its manufacturer due to a design fault in the equipment.
This means that the five green hydrogen buses bought as part of Green Hysland by Mallorca’s Municipal Transport Company (EMT) for around €4.8m have also been effectively grounded since July due to a lack of available fuel.
When the buses were operational, local reports indicate that the hydrogen they ran on had actually been shipped into the island — raising questions as to the source and emissions intensity of this H2.
Local reports also suggest that in addition to a lack of hydrogen supply, the fuel cells were also contaminated by refrigerant.
Hydrogen Insight has reached out to Cummins and EMT for comment.
The Green Hysland project, co-led by Spanish gas firm Enagás, was also meant to demonstrate end use via blending 2% hydrogen by volume into the gas grid, as well as small fuel-cell combined heat and power systems for the port of Palma and at least one municipal building and hotel.
It is unclear whether any of these demonstrations will go ahead without a clear source of green hydrogen supply.